Dear 100 Hour Board,
At every General Conference, fundamentalist preachers gather outside the conference center to shout at and harass conference-goers. What exactly motivates these people? I can understand if they disagree with our theology, but their brand of preaching only offends and alienates LDS members. If the preachers' goal is to attract people to their brand of Evangelical Christianity, wouldn't this style of preaching be counterproductive?
I actually don't think it only offends and alienates members. In fact, I think quite a few members walk away with some questions about what it is the protesters were talking about, or why they are feeling the way they do. I've personally had some questions raised by protesters, but it hasn't made me leave the Church. In short, although they may not be going about their preaching in the most effective or efficient way, they may raise questions in some members' minds.
-Sunday Night Banter
I don't know, anger? I'm not a protester at General Conference, it's not like I know their exact motivation, but if you're standing on a street corner yelling at people, I'd guess you're probably a pretty angry person, whether or not you'd admit that to yourself.
I saw preachers like this in the southern streets where I served my mission. (Fun fact: one always wore a shirt with flames on it and shouted about how everyone was going to hell, but he was always so kind to my companions and me.) Honestly I don't think they're really in on it to save souls. Oh sure, they say they are, and they might think they are at a surface level, but deep down they just want to prove how they're correct and how set apart they are from the wicked, wicked world/specific religion. If a bunch of people started listening to them and agreeing with them, I think they'd be taken aback. It's all about making themselves feel good/better than those around them.
Who knows, maybe some of them really think they are saving souls and I'm just pessimistic.
-guppy of doom